Jazz ensemble at McGill set to play over
the Internet to an audience in Japan
Wednesday 19 July 2000
CHERYL HNATIUK, GAZETTE
Camera, lights, music and log-on. McGill music students rehearse for their performance over the Internet tonight
a jazz ensemble made up of McGill music students begins playing tonight,
it'll be doing something the rest of the world won't be able to experience
the players put on the show in McGill's Redpath Hall, their performance
will be broadcast live in Japan on a big screen in surround-sound
via the Internet.
university will be able to put on this first-of-its-kind overseas
concert by using a fibreoptic connection that is mammoth compared
with what most people are using now at home or in their offices.
Roston, director of the university's audio-visual production centre,
explained the difference by comparing the bandwidth to a water pipe: "The
size of the pipe into people's home is very small, so you get this
trickle of water. What we're working with are very large pipes.
standard personal computer hooks up to a phone line using a 56K modem.
Cable connections offer
about 20 times that capacity. The link McGill will use to communicate
with the Internet Society Conference in Yokohama, Japan, at 9:30 p.m.
is 800 times bigger than a 56K modem.
estimates that the actual transmission will use only about one-10th of
the capacity available, the sort of connection that the rest of us might
have access to in a few years.
question is how big a pipe is going to be available in homes how soon?
And nobody can answer that," he said.
our feeling is that within the next five years, you should be able
get in your home what we're doing tonight."
such links are more commonly available, people will be able to do
like watch a Place des Arts performance at home on the Internet, sacrificing
little sound or image quality. And musicians will be able to perform
even if they are an ocean apart. "Our interest is in how the Internet
is going to be in the future." Master Classes
hopes to use the new technology as a teaching tool for its music students.
plan is already in the works to use Internet hookups with super-wide
with the University of Calgary to share "master classes" -
where world-renowned musicians give hands-on seminars in performance.
students) have to not only be able to hear, but see how they are handling
the instrument," Roston said.
tonight, the technical staff will be focusing on the fibreoptic route
- which snakes through the United States, then under the ocean to Japan
- that will carry the sounds and images.
of the challenges is to make sure the video and the audio, which travel
separately, are synchronized at the end point, a problem the team faced
during a similar broadcast to a conference in New York last year.
we were really worried about was, as you saw on the screen the band start
up, whether you would actually hear the music right away," Roston
said. "That's what's got us a bit on the edge of our seats."
technical staff at McGill will also have an audio feed tonight so they
can hear what's going on in Japan. If all goes according to plan, they'll
hear the applause.